Wu Yi

Goddess of Transparency

It's a Chinese maxim: Women bring disaster. But one of China's most beloved politicians today is its female Vice Premier and Health Minister. In a nation ruled by men who often seem disconnected from their 1.3 billion subjects, Wu has made it her job to care about people. Some peasants believe she is a reincarnation of the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kwanyin.

The Politburo's only goddess in residence worked in the oil industry for years before serving as China's chief trade negotiator. She was appointed Health Minister during the SARS crisis last year, replacing Zhang Wenkang, who for weeks had...

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